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Is an oil finish more durable than a polyurethane finish?

The short answer is no to a complex question.

Polyurethane provides a protective film that repels water and stains, but it can be difficult to repair once damaged. Its protective coating scratches and wears down over time, making it necessary to sand and recoat the entire floor every few years.

In contrast, WOCA Oils penetrate the wood and create a layer of protection from the inside out. Minor scratches and everyday wear and tear can be repaired by applying more oil to the affected area. With the recommended cleaning products, oiled floors have better resistance to stains and water damage.

Without proper care, oiled floors can be more susceptible to stains and damage.

WOCA Oiled floors do not require sanding when it's time to "refinish". It is a less invasive process than standard refinishing. The process is clean and apply a maintenance coat of oil, only to the areas that need it.

What is the life expectancy of the natural oil finish?

Forever, if the recommended care and maintenance is done.

It depends on many factors, but generally speaking a residential setting should expect to need a maintenance coat of oil in 5-10 years.

A commercial setting should expect to need a maintenance coat of oil in 1-3 years.

How does an oil finish hold up to pets?

An oil finish can tolerate moderate wear from dogs and cats. Scratch and spills can be repaired and cleaned as long as it is done in a timely manner.

Do I need a separate product to topcoat an oil finish to make it more durable?


The sheen is too dull. How can I make it look shiny?

All WOCA Oils have a matte sheen. To achieve a satin sheen polish in the 2nd coat with patina discs or apply Maintenance Gel as the 2nd coat.

Is it harder to maintain an oil finished floor versus a sealed polyurethane floor?

Not really, both floors need to be cleaned and refinished.

With an oiled floor, we are very specific about which products to use to clean and maintain compared to a polyurethane floor.

In the long run an oiled floor is easier to maintain because refinishing does not require sanding. An oiled floor is cleaned and a fresh coat of maintenance oiled is applied. Only refinishing traffic patterns and specific rooms can be done with oil as well.

In contrast, refinishing a polyurethane floor requires sanding the entire floor and starting over the finishing process.

Can I use your oil finish on cabinets, trim, doors, decorative beams? Is maintenance the same?

Yes. WOCA Interior Oils can be used on any unfinished interior wood surface. Maintenance is the same but less frequent than flooring as beams and trim do not receive and foot traffic.

Can I use the Diamond Oil Active or Master Color Oil on a butcher block counter or table?

Yes, they can be used, but the are not rated as food contact safe, like WOCA Worktop Oil.

Preparation and Application

What's the difference between Master Color Oil and Diamond Oil Active?

Master Color Oil is the original WOCA Oil. It is best for residential flooring. It has a lower solid/higher solvent ratio.

Diamond Oil Active is best for high traffic residential and commercial flooring. It has a higher solid/lower solvent ratio.

Both oils can be used on any interior wood surface. Ultimately, Diamond Oil Active is more durable than Master Color Oil.

Do I have to use Intensive Wood Cleaner?

In some scenarios, it is mandatory.

Are 2 coats really needed?

In most cases, yes, especially if finishing softwoods and reclaimed wood.

A 2nd coat of oil gives a richer color and better durability and protection.

Can I put a water based finish over an oil?

WOCA Optima or XP2K can be applied over Master Color Oil only. See instructions here.

Diamond Oil Active cannot be topcoated with a water based finish.

Can I apply two coats of Diamond Oil Active?

Yes, especially if finishing softwoods and reclaimed wood.

A 2nd coat of oil gives a richer color and better durability and protection.

How do I speed up the dry time of the oil finish?

WOCA Oils are oxidative oils which means they need oxygen to dry and cure. Keep the windows open or at least cracked during the finishing process, dry and cure time. This creates good conditions for fresh oxygen exchange.

Can I mix Master Color Oil with Diamond Oil Active?

No, they are different product formulations.

Are the white, black, extra white and natural the same color for both Master Color Oil and Diamond Oil Active?

Extra White, Natural and White look the same for both oil product lines.

Master Color Oil Black and Diamond Oil Active Carbon Black are different pigments and do not look the same.

Do I have to roll the Diamond Oil Active?

You can roll, brush, trowel, squirt or pour the oil directly onto the surface before polishing.

How do I apply the Intensive Wood Cleaner to a large area of flooring?

Intensive Wood Cleaner can be applied with a well wrung cotton yarn mop, wood floor machine, or a pump sprayer.

Can I T-bar a oil finish?


How do I cut in the edges of the room if we are buffing in the oil with a buffer?

Cut one of the floor pads to fit your hand, polish by hand, and wipe off the excess.

Can you trowel or hand apply the oil finish?


After oil finish is applied

There is more construction happening in the home, do I cover the floor?

Yes. Use a breathable material like paper, cardboard or Ram Board. Do not tape to the finish. Tape to the walls or baseboards.

Can I use painters tape for covering the floor or paint prep?

No. The tape will pull the finish. Tape to walls or baseboards.

How soon should the floor be soaped after it has been oiled?

5-7 days after the final coat of oil.

How soon can I walk on an oil finish floor?

Typically 12 hours later with caution.

Dried oil still feels tacky?

There is too much oil on the surface. Buff the surface again with a white pad to remlove the excess oil.

How soon can I move furniture in?

It depends on what oil was used.

Master Color Oil, 3 days for furniture.

Diamond Oil Active, 3 days for furniture.

Maintenance Oil Diamond Active, 2 days for furniture.

When can I lay rugs and what kind of rug pad should I use?

Wait to lay rugs until the finish is fully cured. See product label or technical data sheet for cure time.

We recommend a wool rug pad.

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